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Prime Minister Gaston Browne has nominated Peter Abraham Jr to serve on the Loss and Damage fund’s first board and has tasked him with continuing the fight.
The board selection process is expected to comprise 12 members from developed countries and 14 members from developing countries, with further divisions based on regional groups.
The operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund is a significant victory for small island states and their chief negotiators, who have been advocating for the fund for years.
However, while the World Bank is temporarily hosting the fund, climate activists recognize that more work needs to be done.
Browne said that they have requested the establishment of a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, and they have submitted an advisory question to the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea to determine whether or not states parties are meeting their climate obligations.
They aim to hold them accountable and ensure that they stop putting carbon and other particulate matters in the seas.
Antigua and Barbuda is at the forefront of climate change, and they must continue to be resolute in persuading large polluters to reduce their pollution, protect their interests, and safeguard the planet’s well-being on behalf of all humanity.
International civil society organizations, climate researchers, and government officials are still deliberating on how to ensure that the funds necessary for frontline communities reach their intended targets efficiently.
At the UN Climate Change summit in the UAE, the Loss and Damage Fund was launched to provide assistance to small islands such as Antigua and Barbuda in dealing with the adverse effects of climate change.
However, the challenge remains to convert the pledged US $400 million by nation states into actual financial support.
Although the member states approved the final text earlier this month, the Loss and Damage Fund is a voluntary initiative, with wealthy nations having little obligation to contribute to its operation.
This has caused a significant trust deficit between developed and developing countries, as numerous climate funding initiatives have fallen short of their financial commitments in the past.
Preliminary reports by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in November suggested that wealthy nations had likely fulfilled their $100 billion a year target set in 2009, two years after the deadline.
However, Browne, on returning from the COP28 summit, acknowledged the gap between what is pledged and what Antigua and Barbuda expects from governments to honor their commitments to the new loss and damage fund.